The Department of the Interior and Local Government today warned all Local Government Units nationwide of a modus operandi where impostors pretend to be DILG senior officials in an apparent scam to solicitor favors or extort money from LGUs.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they have been receiving numerous reports from local chief executives that they have received calls or texts from impostors and con-artists pretending to be senior officials of the Department offering to send government assistance or aid to the LGUs but there is always a catch at the end.
"Let the public be warned that senior officials of the DILG do not call LGUs asking for favors. It is prudent to always check and consult our provincial DILG office to confirm before believing or sending money to these con artists,” said Malaya.
He said that the impostors have been calling mayors in Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Iloilo, Leyte, and even Cotabato offering government assistance, promising to help clear up any on-going investigation against them, but always asking for funds at the end.
“In one instance, the Mayor was told that the DILG will donate 2,800 cavans of rice to his constituents but in return, the mayor has to send P20,000 via money remittance allegedly for transportation costs,” he said. “In another instance, the mayor was told that he will be helped in his pending cases provided that funds will be transferred to an account of their choosing,” he added.
He said that they have alerted the PNP-CIDG and it will not be long before these con artists are arrested and placed behind bars. The DILG had earlier issued a Public Advisory about this scam last July 2020.
“This is a clear case of estafa punishable under the Revised Penal Code, thus we have requested the Philippine National Police to track down those persons responsible,“ he said.
Malaya reiterated that the DILG communicates with LGUs and other agencies through official channels only. “Hence, the public is advised to be cautious in dealing with any person claiming to be connected to the Department without verification. LGUs who are contacted by these unscrupulous individuals may verify the call or text with the DILG City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officer or our Provincial/Regional Office,” he added.
“We encourage everyone to report to the PNP station nearest you if you become aware of any similar acts. Rest assured that your identity will be kept confidential,” he said.